Anyway, when we last spoke, we were challenging ourselves to eat better, and I hope you've all succeeded! I hope, too, that you are benefiting from the bountiful local produce available at farmers' markets in the area. We've only got about 6 more weeks of the farmers' markets, but I'm definitely looking forward to autumn produce: apples, pears, winter squash, etc...it also means football, chili, cozy hoodies, and beautifully colored falling leaves. It truly is my favorite time of year!
Speaking of eating better and getting healthy, I recently had blood work done to test my cholesterol levels. The Man had one a few months ago, and his was high, and given my family history and my recent promotion to the 4th decade of my life, I thought it might be a good idea to find out where I stand. Unfortunately, my cholesterol is through the roof...a whopping 256!! Because I'm in otherwise perfect health (minus the chronic sinus infection they finally diagnosed this week), the doctor has prescribed a cholesterol diet, fiber supplement, and red yeast rice (a supplement known to lower cholesterol). And I have to have another blood test in 3 months.
Then I began my research...like I do. I've discovered the keys to lowering cholesterol include the following:
- decrease dietary cholesterol (less than 300 mg cholesterol daily)
- increase soluble fiber (fruits, vegetables, beans)
- increase whole grains (breads, pastas, brown rice)
- increase omega-3 fatty acids
- increase healthy fats (nuts, olive oil)
- decrease saturated fats (meats, dairy, some oils)
My diet is pretty healthy as it is, though I like chocolate and the occasional [bag of] Oreo[s] (teehee), so starting today, for the next three months, I will be a vegetarian - that should cut out what little meat I eat and increase my soluble fiber intake. I'm also going to cut back on dairy - I already drink soy milk, but I am a cheese lover, so... :( We already eat whole grain breads and pastas and brown rice, and I've recently started making granola for my breakfasts, so incorporating more whole grains won't be difficult. I cook with olive oil, but I plan to start snacking on more almonds and less chocolate (and Oreos)... :(
I'm going to track my food intake with MyFitnessPal, since it will track my cholesterol intake and give me a good idea of the big picture over a period of time. I fear, however, that not having a cholesterol lifeguard in my gene pool means all of this dietary change is pointless - every family member I've spoken to has shared their story of high cholesterol. But it's worth a shot since I don't like taking medications...especially at the tender age of 30. :(
That's all for now. Let's hope I can turn this around without medication! :)